The installation method for the RD-R8050 / RD-R9150 / RD-6870 and RD-9070 rear derailleurs is similar to that of traditional road rear derailleurs, but setting the limits and indexing is slightly different. You first index the rear derailleur and only then set the top and low limits.
If your rear derailleur has a clutch mechanism then you're probably looking for this installation guide: RD-RX805 / RX-RX815 / RX-RX817 installation guide.
While you can get away with using standard hex wrenches if you absolutely have to, I always use my torque wrench when installing expensive bike parts. There is more information on the required torque for each part in this Shimano Torque Chart.
Mount the derailleur to the frame
The RD-R8050 and RD-R9150 derailleurs are direct mount ready and come with a B2-link plate. Whether or not you need to use this depends on the rear derailleur mount on your frame. Generally, direct mounts are in line with the seat stay, while a standard mount will make a sharper bend down. The image below should help you identify the mount on your frame:
Standard mount - RD-R8050 / RD-R9150
On a standard mount frame you install the derailleur with the B2-link plate attached. It should come this way out of the box. If the B2-link plate is not installed, do so now – it is colored green in the image above.
Apply a small amount of grease to the mounting bolt and secure the rear derailleur to the frame. Before tightening it fully, make sure the stopper plate touches the B-tension stop, with no gap between them.
IMPORTANT. You may be tempted to install the derailleur hanger B-tension stop between the stopper plate and the other plate. Don't. Make sure the B-tension stop touches the stopper plate with no gap in-between, as shown in the image below. I've coloured them yellow and blue respectively.
RD-6870 / RD-9070 Rear derailleurs
Easy! Simply screw the derailleur attachment screw into the mount. The recommended torque is 8-10Nm. The end result should look similar to the image above - except there is only one tab on the derailleur - the stopper tab (coloured blue).
Direct mount - RD-R8050 / RD-R9150
Is your frame equipped with a direct rear derailleur mount? Then remove the B2-link from the rear derailleur so that you can mount it directly onto the frame. You do this by removing the bracket axle using a size 5 hex wrench. Remove the link and attach the derailleur to the frame using the bracket axle.
Connect the electric wire
If you haven’t run the EW-SD50 electric wire to the rear derailleur yet, do so now. Now use the Di2 plug tool to push the electric wire into the connector. Push firmly until you feel (and possibly hear) it click into the socket.
Set the end adjustment screw
Now first make sure the rest of the system is installed and that you can shift both derailleurs. The next step is to set the end adjustment screw (or b-screw). This will set the angle of the rear derailleur and change the distance between the guide pulley and chain on the cassette.
Shift the front derailleur to the smallest chainring and the rear derailleur to the largest sprocket. Use a size 2 hex wrench to turn the adjustment screw and move the guide pulley as close to the sprocket as possible but not so close that the chain gets jammed.
Shimano hasn't published any information on the recommended distance between the guide pulley and the sprockets for 11-speed Di2, but this is what they say in the 12-speed documentation:
- 11-28T cassette: 18mm
- 11-30T cassette: 14mm
- 11-32T cassette: 10mm
- 11-34T cassette: 6mm
Now shift to the smallest sprocket and make sure the chain does not get jammed. If there is any slack in the chain in this gear use the adjustment bolt to eliminate this slack.
Micro-adjust the rear derailleur
Before setting the high/low limit screws you will have to micro-adjust or index the rear derailleur. Note that this is different from how you would set up mechanical rear derailleur – there you would set the limit screws first and then do indexing.
- Shift the front derailleur to the small chainring.
- Shift the rear derailleur to the fifth sprocket.
- Press and hold the button on your junction box until the red LED illuminates, indicating you’re in adjustment mode.
You can now adjust the position of the rear derailleur using the shift buttons:
- Press the [X] button while also turning the crank to move the guide pulley towards the 4th sprocket.
- Keep doing this until the chain makes contact with the 4th gear and a subtle noise is heard.
- Note that while you are in adjustment mode the guide pulley will overrun slightly and then move back a bit. When checking the position of the guide pulley and gear, make sure the derailleur has come to a stop.
Now press the [Y] switch five times in order to move the guide pulley five steps back towards the smallest sprockets. The rear derailleur should be indexed now. This will be the starting point for all future adjustments.
To leave adjustment mode just press and hold the button on the junction box until the LED turns off and you will leave adjustment mode.
Use both the front and rear derailleur to shift through all the gears, making sure no chain rub occurs in any of them. If it does, go back to adjustment mode to tweak the rear derailleur indexing.
Set the low/high stopper bolts
Adjusting the low/high stopper bolts is a relatively easy affair. Let’s first set the low stopper bolt.
- Shift the rear derailleur to the largest sprocket (easiest gear).
- Now use a size 2 hex wrench to tighten the low side stopper bolt until it just touches the low side stopper. This is the bolt with an L next to it.
Confused? This image should clarify things a bit: If not, just leave a comment or send me a message
To check whether your limit setting is correct, shift the rear derailleur down three gears and then back to the largest sprocket again. It should shift to the easiest gear just fine.
High stopper / top limit
Now we’ll set the high or top side stopper bolt.
- Shift the rear derailleur to the smallest sprocket or hardest gear.
- Tighten the top stopper bolt with a size 2 hex wrench until it just touches the top-side stopper. This is the bolt with an H next to it.
- Turn the top-side stopper bolt counterclockwise one turn to loosen it and allow for the rear derailleur to overshift.
Note that if you overtighten either stopper bolt the derailleur will not stay in that highest or lowest gear and shift back within five seconds. When this is the case you'll also hear some clicking or ticking, indicating that the derailleur is blocked from fully completing the shift.
Also, according to Shimano, one of the following could happen:
- Chain noise does not stop.
- The battery level drops quickly because extra load is being placed on the motor.
- The motor may be damaged due to overload (irreparable).
Need some extra guidance? I think this video describes the process rather well:
Your rear derailleur should now be installed and set up pretty well. If you're having problems however, just leave a comment or send me a message and I'll do my best to help you!